Thriller pacing, Irish novels, British villainy: writing links

After spending a weekend at a writers’ conference — ThrillerFest in New York City — I have come home hyped up to work, and eager to keep talking about the craft of writing. But because I’m sitting alone at my desk and there are no other people within shouting distance, I’ll talk about writing here.

The panel I moderated this year was “Turning the Page: Tricks To Get Your Readers Invested.” We talked about action, character, beginnings, middles, and endings. But of course there was only enough time to scratch the surface. Here are a few articles about writing, for anybody who’s interested:

First, Chuck Wendig’s latest post on writing is especially timely:

25 Ways to Write a Real “Page-Turner” of a Book.


Even if your book isn’t a thriller, you’re trying to achieve what would be considered thriller pacing. A thriller isn’t ponderous — it moves like a starving shark. It doesn’t dally. It careens forth with a sense of barely-controlled energy, like a car barreling down a ruined mountain road with its brake line cut. It doesn’t matter if the book isn’t a thriller — you can still lend some of that energy to the fiction just the same. A sense of breathlessness, of anticipation, of sheer gotta-know-more. Thriller pacing — to me, at least — means the story moves.

Second, in The American Scholar, Paul Elie offers Advice You’ll Never Outgrow: “Go deeper.”

Third, on a lighter note, The Toast brings us Every Irish Novel Ever.

1. Fleeing The Impoverished, Drunken Countryside For Dublin

2. The Estate Decays

3. A Man Laughs Unhappily

4. We Do Not Speak That Name In These Parts, Stranger

5. The Landlord Pays A Visit But Does Not Sit Down

6. The Boy Sickens


There’s plenty more at the link.

Finally, as seen in the video above, Tom Hiddleston explains The Art Of Villainy. Watch it here, because if you’re in the UK, that ad has been banned “for encouraging irresponsible driving.”

Yes, really. As if a video that includes Shakespeare, Mr. Hiddleston, and a Jaguar doesn’t express the essence of Great Britain.

2 responses to “Thriller pacing, Irish novels, British villainy: writing links

  1. “World domination starts with attention to details.” Okay, there’s a real mantra to live by.

    You know, Meg, it’s postings like these that make me late for my day.

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